How To Get Rid Of A Boat: Disposing An Old Boat!

The real question that many people have asked is, how long is that boat going to sit there? We’ve all heard that the worst thing for a boat to do is to sit. Which is extremely true, it is the first step to becoming a problem in the boat owning world. So…

How To Get Rid Of A Boat or Dispose Of An Old Boat? There are only four real options to get rid of a boat. You can either sell it, donate it, recycle it, or have it taken to your local trash dump.

Getting an old boat out of your yard can be a grueling process. Here are your best options on how to begin and complete the process of getting that old boat gone!

Going Over Your Options, Where is the Title?

Disposing of An old Boat

First things first, we need to know what your situation is. Addressing what kind of situation you are in will dictate how you get rid of your boat.

Things like, how important is it to get rid of? Where is it? Is the boat in your yard causing you frustration, or is it at a storage facility costing you money? What kind of boat is it? Fiberglass, aluminum?

All of these things are important to consider. Aluminum boats are easy to recycle, where fiberglass boats have to be sent to the dump.

What kind of shape is the boat in? Is the hull in decent shape, or does the engine run? If the hull is decent and the engine runs, you probably aren’t to the point of trashing the boat and taking a total loss on it.

What does the trailer look like? Will it make 10 feet and the axle fall off or is it road worthy?

Beginning with this type of assessment is going to really put your situation in perspective so you will know where to begin in order to dispose of the boat properly. Possibly even getting some cash out of it and just getting rid of it!

One other thing that you want to think about, is that infamous title! The big question, where is that title? Is the title in your name? Is it a clean title?

Selling The Boat

Having a clean title in hand will make a difference in how you get rid of the boat. If you have the title, the hull isn’t trashed, and the engine runs. Then you are in a position to sell the boat and actually get some cash out of the whole process!

One thing I will mention about this whole “getting cash” here, we need to be conscious of the end goal. If you have landed here on this article, chances are your bigger goal is to get rid of the boat. Not fund your retirement account!

Granted the little bit of money you get would be wisely placed in a retirement account. Generally, though we aren’t talking about a ton of money here. Selling a project boat generally doesn’t bring the big bucks!

You should read this if you want to know more about Whether A Boat Is A Good or Bad Investment?

When trying to dispose of the boat, remember, it’s either an expense right now at a storage yard or a nuisance sitting in your yard! So, unless your boat is in pristine condition and lake ready. Don’t price it out like we are selling gold here.

We are ultimately just trying to get the thing gone! Before sinking any more money into it.

Talking about boats that have been sitting for a long time. ( If you think the engine is viable, follow this procedure here to see if you can get the engine running again.) It might end up costing you money to get rid of it, so don’t get wild and just be happy if you can get a couple hundred bucks out of it!

Donating The Boat

If the boat is definitely not worth any money; then donating it would be the next option to investigate and pursue.

In some places, you can find schools, programs, foundations, and other companies that will take the boat as a donation. You can get yourself a tax break on this one, as well as getting the boat out of your yard and off of your books!

Now, some of these donation programs are going to require the title. Actually, in most cases, you will have to have the title in order to do this.

So, if you don’t have the title. You will need to get it. Depending on what your situation is, will determine how this process goes. If the title is just lost but is in your name. You can go to the DMV and file for a lost title.

This will vary depending on where you live. So, you will want to start by calling your local DMV and asking them what you will need to do to get the boat title in your hand again.

As far as the trailer goes, sometimes and in some states, the programs will take the trailer. Even without the title!

Depending on what kind of shape everything is in, this can be a great option if at all possible for you.

Recycling The Boat

Recycling An Old Boat

If you can’t sell the boat, and there is nowhere that we can donate it to. We are narrowing down our options to get this boat gone! Depending on what kind of boat you have, it might be recyclable.

If we are talking about an aluminum hull, then it will be best to recycle the boat and actually get a little money this way too!

If it is a fiberglass hull, then getting the recyclable parts off of the hull before we move onto the next step is a great idea as well.

Fiberglass hulls are not recyclable and must be taken to the dump. That is just the sad part about it. Which is what we will talk about next.

For a little more on recycling a boat read our article about How Much Can You Scrap A Boat For?

Trashing The Boat

We can’t sell it, we can’t give it away, it’s not recyclable. This leaves us with hauling it off to the dump and trashing it! Unfortunately, this is the sad fate of a lot of boats that are left to rot for many years.

Sometimes you can scrap the boat for money, or even sell it to scrappers for a little money. Here’s an article we wrote about the most important details when trying to Scrap a Boat for Money.

We talked about it a little bit already, but a fiberglass boat is not recyclable. The hull has to be taken to the dump.

Depending on where you live and the local waste companies that are in your area. You might be able to have someone come out and remove the boat. Sometimes you can find scrappers that will haul it off for you.

They will cut it up and part out the engine with its parts.

Disposing of Old Boat

Then take off all of the other parts that are valuable to them to sell off.

This is something that you could do as well if you would like to. Take off all of the metal, rod holders, cleats, T-top, bow rail and everything else that is aluminum or metal and a recycling place will pay you for it.

Then you could also try and sell these items as well. That is if you would like to take a long time to get rid of the boat. Sure, you will get more money out of it, but it will take a lot longer to get rid of.

You will still then be left with the hull that has to make it to the dump, one way or another. You can pay someone to haul it off or you can load it up yourself and take it to the dump. That is if you have the trailer, truck and time to do all of this.

The scrappers will take it for free usually because they get the value out of being able to part out the boat and engine. Otherwise, there is no incentive for them if you have removed all of the valuable items.

Then you will be stuck paying them money!

Where To Begin

You should have a pretty good idea of what you are looking at in order to get that boat out of your yard. Beginning with assessing your situation and what your options are. The best thing to start with is figuring out that situation.

Then moving onto the title issue, and resolving that if it is in your best interest.

If the title is not a priority. It’s time to hit the phones. Call the local dump and ask if they provide services that fit your situation.

Then asking them if they know of any scrappers that would be interested in this. You can also look in the paper, on craigslist, or Facebook in yard sale pages.

Begin networking your way through the “scrapping or dumping” industry to find the right person that will come and get rid of the boat for you.

Then take a look at our Post It Note Goal’s article to get your to-do lists organized and complete your goals more effectively.

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Thanks for reading and we look forward to reading your responses and comments.

Hopefully, this helped you out and gets you started in disposing of your old boat. If you have any questions, just ask us in the comment section below, and tell us about your old boat and how you got rid of it.

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Aaron Hilligoss

Aaron has been working in the Marine Industry for over a decade and holds certifications for Yamaha and Mercury Marine. It is not uncommon for him to own and be working on at least three different boats at any given point in time!

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